The Future of Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is the ERP and CRM application from Microsoft. There was recent news that the Dynamics team is moving to the same Microsoft team that make hardware devices like Surface and Surface Hub, which is the Cloud & Enterprise group. That shifts Dynamics from the Applications & Services division (that builds productivity products and cloud services like Office 365) and puts it alongside Azure, SQL Server, Intune, Power BI, Visual Studio and BizTalk.

In this article by Mary Branscombe, we learn more about what that means.

A Microsoft spokesperson called the changes “a natural and logical step in the evolution and progress of the Dynamics business” and confirmed that the senior engineering teams for ERP and CRM are moving to the Cloud & Enterprise group without any downsizing or layoffs.

In many ways, Cloud & Enterprise is actually a more natural home for Dynamics, because the value of what Microsoft wants to deliver is less a commodity IT system like email or document storage, and more a strategic tool for managing the way your business works. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to these as “systems of intelligence” at Microsoft’s Convergence 2015 conference earlier this year, talking about “the reinvention of productivity and business process” together, because improving productivity is so deeply linked to improving both business applications and business processes. That’s much more than simply moving to the cloud for agility or cost savings.

“This latest move with Dynamics is in line with the trend for CIOs to focus on business transformation rather than just be a supplier of IT,” says Frank Scavo, president of Strativa, a management consulting firm that tracks Dynamics.

“For customers, all of these technologies are interrelated. You never know what combination of products a customer would want or need for a given application. So having them all be part of one mainstream Microsoft development organization makes good sense.”

Many key new features for Dynamics are built on Azure services. For example, the Meeting Sense tool Microsoft previewed at Convergence – which aims to analyze the interactions you’ve had with people you’re going to meet and show you pertinent information about them – is built on top of Azure Machine Learning.

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